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WildnessRelations of People and Place$
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Gavin Van Horn and John Hausdoerffer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226444666

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226444970.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see http://www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 November 2017

Biomimicry

Biomimicry

Business from the Wild

Chapter:
(p.50) 6 Biomimicry
Source:
Wildness
Author(s):

Margo Farnsworth

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226444970.003.0007

This chapter follows Ray Anderson and his carpet company, Interface, Inc., on their journey toward sustainability in business. Too long set apart from nature, most companies have sought maximization over optimization and sacrificed a bevy of natural resources along the way through extractive practices and waste. Ray, his employees, and contractors like David Oakey learned that if they could rediscover the wild places around their sites and mimic nature through a process called biomimicry they could operate in sync with the natural cycles and rules of the planet. Biomimicry is a relatively new tool used in business to recreate connections and perhaps even reconcile human technologies and products with the wild. Biologists, designers, engineers, and other business professionals are reconnecting to the wild with biomimicry by emulating organisms and even ecosystems, using nature’s forms, processes, and systems as muse, teacher, and template. Doing this, Interface cut waste, built profit, and acted in line with nature’s existing limits and boundaries. By looking at how nature covers its floors and mimicking those forms and structures, Interface achieved optimization, employee satisfaction, and became the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet tiles.

Keywords:   biomimicry, mimic, Ray Anderson, David Oakey, Interface Carpets, sustainability, optimization, carpet tiles

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